How bedbug bites can be prevented and treated?

How bedbug bites can be prevented and treated?

 

Bedbugs are small reddish-brown blood-sucking insects. These can live anywhere at home. Bedbugs suck blood from humans or warm-blooded animals and feed on their blood. These are most active at night. Bedbugs bite the exposed areas of skin like face, neck, and arms. bedbugs don’t cause the spread of disease but can cause other economic and public health issues.

Species of bedbugs:

Following bedbugs care known to affect:

  • Cimex lectularius
  • Cimex hemipterus

Around 40 pathogens have been detected in bed bugs, but none of them transmits disease.

Symptoms of bedbugs bites

The bites of bedbugs are painless but cause flat or raised bumps on the skin.

It is difficult to distinguish bedbug bites from the bites caused by other insects. Some people show no reaction after bedbug bites, while others can experience an allergic reaction. The allergic reaction can include the following signs:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Intense Itching
  • Bites in a row
  • Bites on face, neck, arms, and hands
  • Small macular lesions which are around 5 cm in diameter
  • Red with a darker red spot in the middle
  • bullous eruptions can occur
  • If bed bugs are numerous, they can cause urticaria or erythematous rashes
  • If numerous bed bugs are present these can result in Anemia. Allergens of these bugs can trigger asthmatic reactions

Scratching after itching can cause skin infection.

In case of bedbug biting several bites are lined up in a row. Infectious-disease specialists refer to it as “sequential feeding”. The signs of bug bites can appear sooner or later. In some people, signs can take several days to appear. In most of the cases, signs appear after 14 days of bug bites.

Where bedbugs can be found?

Bedbugs are parasites and can live anywhere in the home. Bedbugs can be found, hiding in the cracks of beds, headboards, bed frames, box springs and other objects around the bed. They can also live in any kind of furniture or in any type of textile

The bedbugs are mostly found in beds of hospitals, hotels and homeless shelters because these beds are excessively used with high turnovers.

These can also be found at following places:

  • Under loose wallpaper and peeling paint
  • Under carpeting near furniture
  • Under electrical outlets
  • Under light switch plates

Bedbugs can also be found in crowded lodgings like followings:

  • Refugee camps
  • Apartments
  • Trains and buses
  • Homeless shelters
  • Hotels
  • Cruise ships

Bedbugs are most active at night. These pests usually bite while an individual is sleeping at night.

When to see a doctor?

If an individual experiences severe allergic reaction after bedbug bites then he/she must visit the doctor for professional treatment.

Causes of bedbug infestations

Bedbug infestations can be caused because of the followings:

  • Various types of pest control practices
  • Resistance to insecticide
  • Increased international traveling

How do bedbugs spread?

Bedbugs can move from one site to another by sticking to luggage, furniture, clothing, boxes and bedding

Bedbugs crawl about as fast as a ladybug. These can easily crawl on floors of rooms in home and hotels. Bedbugs need warm hosts and places for hiding which also helps in its spread.

How bedbug bites can be prevented?

  • Cover up body

Bedbugs can’t enter cloths, therefore, clothes that cover most parts of the body must be worn to avoid bedbug bites.

  • Bedbug spray

Bedbug sprays must be used because insect repellents like, mosquitoes or ticks repellents are not effective against bedbugs.

  • Mosquito nets

The Bed nets impregnated with the pesticide “permethrin” can protect against bedbug bites. However, this practice has a risk of causing bedbugs resistance to this pesticide.

The prevention and control of bed bugs are challenging and can cause significant psychological trauma. The bedbug spays should be used with care because misuse of these can have a deleterious impact on human health. Nonchemical means of control can also be used to avoid risks. The accommodation providers must use risk management procedures to reduce the potential of bed bug infestations.

During the 1940s and 1950s, bedbugs were largely eradicated in the US and Canada. Synthetic pesticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) was widely used to eradicate these bugs but it has made a comeback. These bugs have now become resistant to many insecticides. Mille says Canada has even fewer approved insecticides than the US for addressing this problem.

Precautions

Bedbug bites can be prevented by taking the following measures:

  • Careful use of secondhand items

Secondhand items like furniture or bedding must be used carefully. The used bedding items and furniture must be carefully checked before bringing them to home.

  • Check Hotel beds

Hotel beds must be checked before use to avoid bedbug bites. Luggage must on the place on floor so that bedbugs don’t get into the luggage.

Treatment for bedbug bites

Usually, the bedbug bites get better within one to two weeks of biting but following treatments can relieve symptoms:

  • Anti-inching creams can be used
  • Calamine lotion can also be applied to bites area.
  • Oral administration of antihistamine can also be effective in reducing burning and itching
  • Painkiller can also relieve swelling and pain in serve allergic reactions of bedbug bites.
  • During severe allergic reactions, one should consult with the doctor.

In Some cases, bedbug bites can cause an infection called cellulitis. To avoid the risk of infection, he/she must wash the bites with soap. The affected area must not be scratched to avoid the risks of infection.

In addition to medications, home remedies can also be used to relieve the symptoms of bedbug bites.

  • A cold cloth or an ice pack wrapped in a towel can be used to reduce itching and swelling
  • A thin paste of water and baking soda can be prepared and applied to the skin area affected by bedbug bites.
  • The application of essential oils can also relieve bug bites.
  • Camphor oil, chamomile oil, and other essential oil can be used to relieve the symptoms of bedbug bites.

The bedbug’s eradication requires attention.  Federation legislation called “Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite Act” has been introduced to enhance its eradication. This legislation has been introduced to educate health professionals. This legislation has also increased the inspection, prevention and eradication programs.

 

Sources

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bedbugs/symptoms-causes/syc-20370001

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2952005/

 

Hilary Jensen

Hilary is a Food Science and Nutrition graduate with specialization in diet planning and weight loss. She enjoys reading and writing on Food, Nutrition, Diet, Weight Loss, and General Health.

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